Tales of the BossLady are tales of a BossLady I once had several years ago. She and her boyfriend were Realtors, and I was their long-suffering assistant. I no longer suffer, but I kept the tales knowing that I would one day share them with the world.
So recently, BossLady’s been all hot to order some cheap signs from the Internet to put on our listed properties. Something eye-catching that would be visible as people drive by, with our Web address and a special phone number so people can call and get information about individual properties, rather than “bothering” BossMan by calling him directly. She eventually ordered the special toll-free phone system, and she asked me to design a sign. BossMan didn’t care for my original design, so BossLady played around with it on her own, but ultimately she decided that my design was best after all (I kept telling her that yellow and black produces the most visible combination), so she wanted to go ahead with ordering the sign. We had a bit of a snafu going on where I wasn’t finished creating it before she was leaving for a weeklong convention, so she had to call me from the road to give me final ordering instructions for the sign.
It should have been fairly simple, and it started out simply enough: “One hundred signs, double-sided, one color, black text on yellow [unintelligible word]…” I interrupted to ask what that last word was.
And thus began the game. (This is another one of those situations where BossLady gets on a train of thought that’s headed for Seattle when you’re desperately trying to tell her she needs to be on the train to Syracuse.)
Me: “I’m sorry, wait, what was that last thing? Yellow what?”
BossLady: “The sign is yellow, with black text.”
“I know what the colors are, but what was that last thing you said?”
“They have the ability to print black on a yellow sign.”
“I understand about the colors, but what was that word you said, ‘Black text on yellow…something?’”
“The sign is yellow and the text is black.”
“I understand about the colors, but was that something important, ‘Black text on yellow something?’”
“The way it works is, it’s only one color because the background is already yellow, and the text is black.”
“I understand about the colors, but was that ‘yellow something something’ something important?”
“Okay, we’d better start over. One hundred signs, double-sided, one color with black text. And order one hundred H-wires.”
At this point, I gave up. I was trying to find out if it was “yellow plasticboard” or “yellow cardboard” or something, since it did sound kinda like “yellow something-board.” I was so irritated that I was repeating over and over, “I understand about the colors,” and yet she kept talking about the colors as if I was some retard who couldn’t comprehend that the sign was black on yellow. We ordered the sign, and if it shows up on cardboard that washes out after one rain, serves her right for being a moron. Gah.
I realize now, as I write this, that I could have come up with a better question, something like, “What material is the sign printed on?” But see, in my admittedly tiny little universe, when you ask someone what they just said, or, “What was that last word,” they tell you what they just said because they have the mental capacity to remember what they just said two seconds ago.
Things like this make me irrationally angry, because of the attendant “you’re not too smart, are you?” attitude that BossLady often projects when she’s being especially thick. I know, in my heart of hearts, that it really comes from a deep-seated insecurity on her part, but it still irritates me beyond belief when it happens.